Batman had seen it all fifty years ago.
These people believe anything they can't explain is magic. Terry McGinnis:
Naturally, you don't believe in those kind of things. Bruce Wayne:
Of course I do. I've seen it all: demons, witch boys, immortals, zombies...
A cat chasing a car? They've seen it. People playing card games for the fate of the world
? They've seen it. They've explained the Noodle Incident twice
. They even know what the Cow Tools
are for. Yes, these characters have Seen It All.
The way the trope's portrayed varies depending on the character. They may either become The Stoic
since they've seen everything they have, or they may simply be a Deadpan Snarker
who happens to also be mildly Genre Savvy
. They may or may not also be smug about the fact that they've seen it all already. These portrayals, however, while very common, aren't the only ways to portray this trope.
When the bored residents in an urban center have seen it all, the trope is City of Weirdos
Compare Fantastically Indifferent
, Not Again
, Prescience Is Predictable
and The Anticipator
. See also Seen-It-All Suicide
and Nothing Left to Do but Die
. Not to be confused with Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
. Beings that are Really 700 Years Old
or from the Time Abyss
have a high chance of having seen it all already.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima!, an ancient vampire (born circa 1400): the existence of a time-travelling device impresses her somewhere below the level of a shrug or a nod. She says that overall the ability to travel to the moon, the telephone, and the Internet surprised her far more when they first appeared.
- Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess. Especially the first movie. A girl kisses him, grows wings, and jumps out the window and flies away and he doesn't even blink.
- Kyon, from Haruhi Suzumiya. He even complains in his head that weird stuff is normal to him now.
- Sagara Sōsuke from Full Metal Panic!, especially in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. He and Kaname get stuck in a broken down house that is known for having ghosts. There are a ton of scary, bloody ghosts and corpses that freak Kaname out. For Sōsuke, however, none of it fazes him, and he only notices if they happen to have weapons. The reason being, of course, that he's been desensitized to things like that due to all the wars he's been through. An equally good explanation may be that he has no idea why it's scary, having no prior experience with horror movies or ghost stories and therefore lacking the social conditioning to react appropriately—all he is looking for is the horrors he's used to (like the telephone-mine). Also, ghosts are probably downright comforting when one of your life's less traumatic moments was nearly dying in a plane crash along with your parents when you were three years old.
- Maiza Avaro from Baccano!! is an example, both because of some traumatic experiences and because he's been around long enough to have seen it all.
- In Durarara!!, Kasuka Heiwajima's deadpan Stoicism never lets up even in the worst or most ridiculous of situations. Oddly enough it doesn't seem to have been caused by growing up with Shizuo, a Person of Mass Destruction, as a brother, since he had the deadpan expression even when Shizuo first lifted a fridge to try and crush him.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura is an example, due to a "Groundhog Day" Loop caused by her wish. The reason that she's The Stoic is because she's already experienced the events of the show at least four times already (Word of God states she's seen it at least a hundred times).
- A similar example in Steins;Gate: Okabe claims that his endless time-leaping to save Mayuri have so desensitized him to the event that he feels nothing, even when he lets her die to find out the circumstances. Kurisu knows it isn't true.
- Nick Fury is nearly a hundred years old, has been through three wars (World War II, Korea, and Vietnam), been through paratrooper school, demolition training, trained with the Army rangers and the Green Berets and worked for the CIA. This was all before he joined S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The pre-Flashpoint Jaime Raynes run as the Blue Beetle has Peacemaker, survivor of a thousand Noodle Incidents throughout The DCU.
Hey, any alien encounter where you don't end up dead or probed
is a good one. Especially probed. Jaime:
Your stories are getting weirder. You know that, right?
- Every senior agent of the B.P.R.D., but Hellboy takes the cake. Not surprising, as he's been a paranormal investigator and monster hunter since the early fifties.
- Judge Dredd. He's been an active street judge for over half a century and the strip averts Comic-Book Time.
- Sarah Conner in Copyright Infringement thinks she's this after dealing with various Terminators. Xander and the clones of Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia (named after the Power Puff Girls) correct her when they point out that they had no trouble believing her story of time-traveling cyborgs before they had proof.
- Said word for word by a newsstand owner in Trixcord, after telling Discord to buy that newspaper if he wants to keep reading it.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Forrest Gump: After a while, Forrest finds it hard to work up enthusiasm for meeting Presidents after meeting virtually each one during his life.
- Men In Black
- Agent K is the primary example of this. He monitors and fights aliens from around the universe; what we consider weird, he considers just another day on the job.
- J became one in the second film. By this point he's no longer a rookie and the flashy thing is no longer a novelty.
- Agent Simmons from the Transformers movie. Optimus Prime even noted that they weren't surprised to see the Autobots, they just didn't expect them to show up. He does seem to be surprised at one thing in the sequel though; that Wheelie has been somehow "tamed" by Mikaela.
Simmons: All my life I've been searching for aliens. And you've got one tied on a leash like a little Chihuahua.
- The Curious George movie features a cab driver who claims to have seen it all in New York, even a giant monkey wreaking havoc in the streets. At the end he sees a giant jungle idol in the museum and says, "I haven't seen that before... and now I have."
- In the Signature Scene of the 1980's blockbuster film Crocodile Dundee, the titular character and his love interest are held up at knife point by some New York City thugs wielding switchblades; instead of being frightened and bartering for their lives to be spared, he simply pulls out a Bowie knife and calmly proclaims, "That's not a knife. Now, that's a knife." Then the thugs run away in terror.
- In Groundhog Day, Phil Connors finds himself stuck in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and reliving Groundhog Day every single time he wakes up. He kills himself multiple times, but each time he wakes up at 6:00 am like nothing happened. Eventually, he decides to use his situation for good and he takes to memorizing the events of the day and getting to know everyone in the town. This eventually leads to him obtaining a vast knowledge of everything that happens and everyone in the town.
- Invoked in The Hangover II:
"I'm Mike Tyson. What haven't I seen?"
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- The unnamed cabbie in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who doesn't even blink when Raphael flips over his cab.
Man in cab: "What the hell was that?"
Cabbie: "Looked like a big turtle in a trench coat. You're going to La Guardia, right?"
- Likewise, the pizza-delivery man whose main reaction to to delivering a pizza to someone in a sewer is irritation that they shortchanged him and grumbling about needing a new route.
- Breaking Bad: Mike Ehrmantraut has been involved in the life of organized crime for so long that almost nothing fazes him. At one point, a chunk of his ear is shot off and his response is mild annoyance. This makes the points where he is shocked, such as when Walter reveals he put a hit on Gale, all the more noticeable.
- Burn Notice: Michael Weston always knows what to do when things go wrong, he just doesn't know when they'll go wrong.
- CSI: Miami: Horatio Caine.
- Dead Like Me: The reapers are, unsurprisingly, not fazed in the least by the deaths they witness every day, and don't even react to the many Necro Non Sequiturs with any more than a deadpanned "damn."
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor has spent the last 900+ years of his life travelling anywhere in space and time, and has been to (and saved) possibly billions of planets.
Amy: Why am I here?
The Doctor: Because... I can't see it anymore. I'm 907, and after a while you just can't... see it.
Amy: See what?
The Doctor: Anything. I look at a star, and all I see is a big ball of burning gas. And I know how it began and how it will end. And I was probably there both times. And after a while everything is just stuff. And that is the problem: You make all of space and time into your back yard, and what do you have? A back yard! But you, you can see it. And when you see it, I see it.
Amy: And that was the only reason you took me with you?
The Doctor: ...There are worse reasons.
- Ten and Eleven turn into Doctor-y balls of squee when something they haven't seen before pops up.
- Farscape: The crew of Moya are some. Crichton even lampshades it in one episode when he refers to aliens messing with their minds as "pulling a T'raltixx," in reference to a previous mindscrew. Scorpius is one as well. Nothing fazes him. Ever.
- Heroes: Claude Rains, the invisible man, is a former Company Man in Black, invisible, and he has alluded to a hobby of randomly following people around, so he's seen a lot.
Claude: People suck, friend! Never forget that!
Claude: Everyone's like the rest — that's why they're the rest!
- NCIS: Not only has Ducky seen it all, he'll happily tell anyone within earshot all about it. He once uses this trope to make McGee comfortable enough to reveal the poison ivy rash on his, er...well, you know...
- Revolution: Miles Matheson, of the Weary Traveller variety. Being a marine sergeant before the blackout and being the number two man in the Monroe Republic for years after the blackout would do that to him ("No Quarter").
- Stargate SG-1: Everybody in the later seasons, possibly the most Genre Savvy group of heroes this side of the Discworld. At one point, General Hammond believes Daniel's claim that he has intelligence information from a dream he had, and explains his credulity with, "The things I've heard sitting in this chair..." Keep in mind he's talking to someone who's died, Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, and then came Back from the Dead, twice. This trope is nicely lampshaded when the other team members express surprise at Daniel's immediate belief in a teenager who claims to be their teammate Jack, somehow youthened about 30 years in his sleep for no apparent reason, in "Fragile Balance."
Daniel: Stranger things have happened.
Teal'c: Name but one.
Daniel Jackson: Well, there was the time he got really old; the time he became a caveman; the time we all swapped bodies....
- Star Trek: Sometimes happens in later seasons of the series. When something odd happens, they promptly check for everything odd that's happened before, up to and including parallel universes and time travel. "This is Starfleet. Weird is part of the job."
- Played for Laughs in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Message in a Bottle", when Voyager's Doctor meets the EMH of the USS Prometheus. Voyager's Doctor shares some of his past experiences, which include having sexual intercourse, much to the amazement of Prometheus' Doctor.
- The writers like to lampshade the main characters' casual professionalism every now and then.
- One example is the fourth season episode "Death takes a Holiday", where the Winchesters discuss what they know of their latest case (an Adventure Town where everyone is suddenly immortal):
It seems like the last person to actually die around here was this boy a couple of months ago; we should probably start by contacting him. [beat] Dean:
...I love how matter-of-factly you just said that. Our lives are weird.
- Another example is when they travel back in time to the 1800s because they need the help of veteran hunter Samuel Colt (yes that Samuel Colt). Upon Sam meeting him, and proving who he is with his cell phone, Colt is completely unfazed; when questioned on it, he says "When you've done this job as long as I have, a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn't exactly give you the vapours."
- Tales of the Gold Monkey: Then there's Bon-Chance Louis of this short lived and much regretted show who owed his name to having overslept his appointment with the guillotine and dropped little remarks implying he'd been everywhere and done everything.
- The Upright Citizens Brigade: Played with. One episode featured an ongoing thread in which various couples keep looking at a great house for sale, only to be driven mad after looking into the bucket!!. Another plot thread involved a grizzled Defective Detective. When his case eventually brings him to the house he looks in the bucket, looks up at the sky and yells "Don't you think I know that!"
- Power Rangers Dino Thunder: Tommy Oliver tends to give off this vibe, especially when he got captured by Mesogog before he got his powers for this season, as his reaction was to snark at him with a very visible lack of panic. Then again, this has been Tommy's fifth ranger identity; not even the average power ranger at the end of their tenure can compare to what he's been through, hence he's called the "Greatest Ranger Ever".
- The song "I've Seen It All" from Dancer in the Dark, sung by the main character, who's going blind.
- Dwarf Longbeards in Warhammer Fantasy Battles are immune to Panic due to this.
- Sadly, a recurring problem is challenging PCs these players, especially if the Game Master hasn't.
- The GURPS advantage Unfazeable tends to turn you into this, especially when combined with Weirdness Magnet.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, Canderous Ordo, after The Reveal, makes a comment that, "Remember, we're talking about the Force here. At any moment, Malak could fall from the sky and I wouldn't bat an eyelash."
- Happens a lot to anyone playing any MMORPG, due to the anonymous nature of the users. Anyone can say anything they want, and do, e.g. "I hope your (loved one) gets (expletive) and (action) down the (undesirable region)". Hence being called anything in the real world would perhaps earn an lol from any experienced MMO veteran.
- Mass Effect
- Resident Evil
- Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 4 has a brief moment of this partway through the game. After one of the villains undergoes a dramatic One-Winged Angel transformation and emerges as an enormous monster, Leon scoffs "Monsters. At least after this, there'll be one less to worry about." He's also surprised that the very first Mook he kills isn't a zombie, but doesn't seem to react at all when he learns they're being controlled by parasites. He also calls the Big Bad "small time" which would imply he doesn't think much of the mission at hand.
- Especially in Resident Evil 6. Just before he, Helena, Jake and Sherry fight the Ustanak, he takes one look at the 12-foot, claw-handed humanoid, mentally files it under "Implacable Men", and tells them, "Welcome to the club. You get used to it."
- All four of the characters in Left 4 Dead are like this, which is shown in detail in the comic, where they constantly have to explain things to the (in theory better trained) CEDA officers. Left 4 Dead 2 shows the new characters gradually becoming this.
- The immortal Little Miss Snarker Rachel Alucard from BlazBlue begins the series with a serious case of seen-it-all-inspired boredom, owing partially to her age and partially to the fact that she has literally seen it all before, and she may well be subjected to it all again if you select "Continue" one more time, you sadist.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can end up becoming one by Awakening, lampshading that people tend to need their help everywhere they go and that fighting Dragons, Demons and Darkspawn has become very much routine for them.
- In Dragon Age II, most of the characters show signs of having seen it all, Hawke and Varric in particular.
- Most of the characters in Persona 4 Arena display this, and for good Reason. Though it stands out more for the P4 cast due to the action taking place in their old stomping grounds.
- Dawn of War: Zigzagged with the Kasrkins. Hailing from a planet that is literally next door to hell and where there are more soldiers than civilians (enrollment rate is well above 70% and all civilians have serious military training), they have seen the worst of combat and are basically just below Space Marines in all-around toughness, and most of their lines tell you that they've already done what you're telling them to do. However, they aren't immune to morale damage, and one of their lines in case this happens is "In all my years I have never seen them do that!".
- In Dishonored, the Outsider just seems very bored throughout the entire game, with a few rare exceptions. Considering he's at least several thousand years old and can see all possible futures, you can understand why he acts like he's seen literally everything.
- Girl Genius:
- The former Seneschal of Mechanicsburg has seen it all: "Don't try to boggle me, Mr. Talking Cat. This is MECHANICSBURG. You are by no means the strangest thing in this town!"
- Dr. Sun, too.
- Higgs as well. He's looked worried exactly twice: When he accidentally insulted Zeetha, and when two Sparks were getting waaaay too excited about their "experiments".
- Moloch isn't fazed by the mass destruction going on around him, but by the shocked appearance on everyone else's face when they see Agatha's new lightning gun in action.
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- Antimony was practically raised by The Guides, so she's almost completely unfazed by the supernatural. For example, compare Kat's reaction to Ketrak with Annie's complete lack of a reaction.
- Jones, also. Apparently the fact that she has only seen something similar is greatly disturbing.
- While he didn't start off as this, there's Jack. His only response to a really pissed-off Reynardine is "Oh...you have a, uh, large wolf with you. Okay. Cool. Nice flowers." He was visibly startled, but he took it in stride.
- In The Order of the Stick, Xykon does it while having difficulty remembering which guy named Fyron he killed in Cliffport.
- 8-Bit Theater
- Sarda has literally seen everything that ever happened or ever will happen. He has learned every bit of magic ever. You can't beat him, though you can (very rarely) surprise him with extreme stupidity.
- By the end of the comic, Black Mage, Thief and Red Mage had even become aware of the basic jokes of the comic and could see them coming.
- Mulder has this attitude in one of later episodes of Monster of the Week:
Scully: So what, we're dealing with a vet[eran] who kills invisibly through Mind Control?
Mulder: Nah, that already happened in Season 2.
Scully: A vet who kills invisibly through psychic projection?
Mulder (smug): Season 3, Scully.
- Sha'sana of Drowtales is one of the few surviving Dark Elves and shows very little expression, weariness at what the drow have become, and a certain smugness about the impending disaster of nearly every tainted drow in Chel losing control of her seeds while keeping Sharess' body in the Ninth Tower, which made many fans dislike her.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Bob has reached this point. Jean is getting there.
- El Goonish Shive shows that being an old friend of a fledgling Mad Scientist is enough:
Sarah: You don't consider goo coming to life news?!
Elliot: Not after some of the stuff I've seen at Tedd's house...
- Ida, the Mayor's assistant from The Word Weary, doesn't bat an eyelash when her boss trashes his office and throws his phone out the window.
- In Rusty and Co., the hipster vampires. Been there, done that.
- Survival Tips For SHIELD Recruits: Just a natural effect of joining SHIELD.
- Tip #500: Monumental occasions are near-daily occurrences. Get used to them, but try to retain a sense of wonder anyway.
- Tip #451: Always remember that even when things seem dire, sometimes having faith in the impossible is exactly what works. In this job, the impossible happens all the time.
- Shadowside: Few of the students of the Twin Campus would be surprised that the new guy is an anthropomorphic platypus or what have you.
- Losing the ability to be surprised by entertainment is one of Cracked's 5 Warning Signs That You're Finally Getting Older. Sustained intake of entertainment will ruin your life with or without TV Tropes.
- In the same episode, Green Lantern thinks he is, but gets proven wrong.
Smith: Be careful — there are some of the strangest things down at that ranch.
Green Lantern: Don't worry, we've got a lot of experi... (pterodactyl screeches overhead) I'm sorry, what were you saying?
- Jonah's no more fazed in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, where being in the future on an alien world, being forced to track down various species to fight, doesn't warrant much surprise. Batman's no stranger either, and seems to take time travel, galactic teleportation and mystic outer planes in his stride.
- Kup from Transformers: The Movie and G1 TV series is a bit like this. He's always telling war stories of times that were like times like this (to Hot Rod's increasing irritation during the film)... until he sees Unicron. Justified in that Kup's an ancient veteran of the Cybertronian wars — he's been all over the galaxy doing all kinds of stuff for at least 9-12 million years. That's about 4 times longer than humanity has walked the Earth.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Mandy is this in spades, and is even immune to irritation (as revealed in the episode with the invisible duck) due to being constantly exposed to Billy's pure stupidity infused antics, which drove the goddess of chaos (Eris) insane.
- Skips in Regular Show says "(yeah,) I've seen this before" in response to anything.
- South Park sees so many strange things that nobody bats an eye at anything short of the entire town being destroyed.
- "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina":
- "Pinewood Derby" involves a Secret Test of Character where the supposed alien criminal "Baby Fark McGee-zax" wants Randy to give him warp travel after doing so with Stan's pinewood derby car. He tells Randy to get rid of space cops who suddenly arrived, leading to this dialogue.
Officer: You're absolutely sure you didn't see an alien land here?
Randy: No, we're sure.
Officer: So then...we're the first aliens you've ever seen?
Randy: That's right, yep, you're the first ones.
Officer: You don't seem that excited about your first contact with alien life.
Randy: ...uh. That's r—that's right! [faking surprise] Oh, oh my God! Hey everybody, we just made first contact!
- Slappy Squirrel from Animaniacs has seen so much that's she Genre Savvy nearly to the point of being all-knowing, and practically no-one she's pitted against has a chance of posing her a serious problem.
- According to Word of God, Timmy Turner's new magical dog Sparky is this.
- Rick from Rick and Morty has dimension-hopped so many times that practically nothing fazes him.
- Uncle Grandpa: Mr. Gus is over a billion years old, so naturally, he's seen it all already. Uncle Grandpa himself is a more subtle example, being such a Weirdness Magnet (when he's not creating the weirdness) that not even the most surreal or horrifying of circumstances prompt anything more than a mild "uh-oh" from him. It's more subtle because he enjoys it so much.
- There is absolutely nothing you can confess to an experienced priest that they haven't heard before (with "experienced" meaning "has been in the Church for several decades"). The guidelines for conduct of Mass say that, during a specific part of the Communion, stopping is not allowed. Thus, there is a manual required to be read prior to ordination. It includes everything from a fly landing on the Host to gunmen taking hostages. It's mostly drawn from experience.
- Some people who've worked in tech support have heard it all.
- Work in any kind of customer service position for long enough and you'll get a worrying look at the human race.
- Master chess players are so good primarily because they have seen everything that could come up in a chess game.
- Medical professionals as well. They've heard all the weird explanations concocted by embarrassed patients hoping to avoid confessing to what happened, ranging from cutting oneself shaving to falling off of a ladder onto a lamp (because he was dusting a ceiling fan while not wearing pants).
- Similarly, mental health professionals of any kind urge their patients/clients to tell them anything and everything and not to worry that it might sound too bizarre, etc., for them to deal with—"We've heard it all"
- This answer to an FAQ by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division:
"During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons
to try and destroy the storms. Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea
- More experienced college professors are very strict in their approach and their syllabi, with some going as far as to request that students not glue their document pages together.
- Veteran hotel staff can rival ER doctors for seeing almost everything bizarre and disgusting from walking in on people having sex, to cleaning up after a rock band's debauchery and vandalism, to dead bodies in the box spring.
- Science fiction convention committees (and fans who have been in the scene long enough) aren't even going to bat an eyelash when it comes to wacky hijinks, people of all points on the race/age/gender/sexuality spectrum, and strange ideas. They'll merely sigh and put another rule in the convention guidelines about not using peanut butter in a cosplay or transforming the mattress and hotel staircase into an impromptu sled competition next year.